So you want to talk adventure travel? JD Andrews is your man! Founder of EarthXplorer.com, this self-proclaimed ‘adventure driven visual storyteller’ has been in the travel industry for over 20 years, so we reckon he knows a thing or two! We caught up with him to get the low down on his travel antics…
Your motto is ‘live the adventure’. A question recently discussed in #TTOT was – what does ‘adventure’ mean to you?
Adventure to me is when you plan your trip one way and then something happens that changes everything. Suddenly you’re in a place or situation you didn’t expect or look up on Google beforehand. You should always be aware of your surroundings and make smart, safe decisions but when you have no choice but to adapt and see where it takes you, it becomes an adventure; live it! In the end, adventures always make better stories!
You’ve worked in the travel industry for over 20 years now. You must know it inside out. What trends do you see happening over the next few years in travel?
I believe future travel will definitely be an adventure! I see travel companies cutting back, offering fewer perks and making travel something you have to get through instead of enjoy… Until hopefully some smart companies realize that travel is supposed to be a pleasurable journey and they’ll make drastic changes for the better. Travelling will become what it is supposed to be – fun! Other companies will have to evolve to meet their customers wishes or else. A boy can dream right?
We hear that Bali is one of your favourite destinations. Describe one of your favourite Bali memories.
There are so many amazing places in this world; it’s very hard to pick just one as a favorite. I like each destination for different reasons and after seeing Antarctica, nothing can compare. But I really like Bali because it’s unique; at least it was over ten years ago when I was last there. The people are so friendly and believe in the most simple and powerful way to live: karma. If you do good, you’ll receive good and of course if you do bad, you’ll receive bad. They also believe in balance, giving offerings to the good spirits as well as the bad; the world is all about balance. I love that!
You were a very early adopter of Twitter. How has this affected your travels and could you live without it?
I sent my first tweet on July the 9th 2007; over five years on the tweeters (people hate when I call it that)! It has been amazing, awesome, fabulous, irreplaceable and unbelievable. Who could have imagined an app that allows you to ask the world a question…..and get an answer? I have received so many great suggestions and ideas, supportive words and advice it’s unreal. I’ve met incredible people from all over the world who I would never have even known about if it weren’t for Twitter. I could go on and on…..but I won’t.
What advice would you give someone looking for a career like yours?
Don’t rush; I’ve been learning for twenty years and continue to learn every day. It seems everyone nowadays does a few months or even a few years of work and wants their own TV show, or to win an Oscar. If you love what you do, there is no end game; you do it for the pure joy it brings you. At least, that’s how it is for me, anyway.
You are outrageously well-travelled, having visited all seven continents! Here’s a tricky one: If you could only live and explore one continent for the rest of your life, which would you choose?
Wow! If I had to choose… it would be Europe. There’s a lot to see and do there, plus the coffee is amazing!
Your travel photography is outstanding – do you have any pet hates when it comes to travel photography? Are you a perfectionist?
I’m a new photographer; only a few years in, so I’m sure pros have some ‘pet hates’ about my photos. I try to be a perfectionist, if I have the time.
You grew up in Colorado – what would you recommend to a first time visitor to the state?
I love Colorado and think everyone should visit it at least once in their life (Colorado tourism owes me). Since I’m a skier, I would say go to the mountains, enjoy the incredible views, hit the slopes and at the end of the day sit in a hot tub outside with a glass of champagne (or your favourite drink) while it snows, incredible! You can thank me later.
Go on, make us jealous – what are your up-coming travel plans?
Spain, Fiji and South Africa. Still on the list: Polar Bears. I want to video and take pictures of these marvellous animals! Plus Galapagos, Japan and the rest of the world! As I say “A true traveler’s journey is never complete”.
A huge thanks to JD! Don’t forget to check out EarthXplorer.com to keep up with all of his adventures.